February 09, 2012

Occupational Therapy Terminology

Or as I'd like to call it, "OT Jargon". 

The first time many OT's open their first client chart, they become cross-eyed. I've come across at least 3 different ways to abbreviate the word "independent" and have written progress notes and discharge summaries ad nauseum. 

There are all sorts of abbreviations and symbols never seen before. It takes a lot of time to get used to but at the end you too can became familiar with "c/o, CBR, CXR, EOM, LOS..." and many more commonly used acronyms. 

Some time ago, I figured I should start making a list of all the symbols, abbreviations, and acronyms that I have come across and others that I might see in the future. Over the course of a few months and with the help of the Quick Reference Dictionary for Occupational Therapists by Karen Jacobs, EdD, OTR/L, CDE, FAOTA, I have compiled a list of useful terminology that might be beneficial to OT students, OTAs, OTRs, 
and even PTs.

(Credit for the above data goes toJacobs, K. (1998). Quick Reference Dictionary for Occupational Therapists. Slack Inc.


  1. Wow this is great. Could you email this too?

  2. Any idea what an SU is? It in in context of client/patient. I'm in my 4th week of an OTA program. Thanks!

    1. For documentation purposes "s/u" stands for "set-up". Some therapists write "SU", as you wrote and some use "s/u". Each facility has their own rules on the use of certain abbreviations. Just make sure it's acceptable in your clinic.